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January 18, 2022

Over 190 voting crimes in Sunday’s election

A number of 194 instances of voting crimes were reported Sunday, most of which in the counties of Dambovita, Teleorman, Vrancea and Galati. Mediafax reported the Interior Ministry representative, commissary Christian Ciocan, as saying two 24-hour warrants of apprehension were issued for a person in Sacele, Brasov County, on the charge of intention of multiple voting, and another in the commune of Stefanesti, Arges County respectively, for items being offered to voters to vote a certain candidate. A number of 269 fines totalling RON 208,870 has been applied, most of which in Dambovita – 29; Teleorman – 16; Vrancea and Galati – 12 each. Several of the persons investigated are residents of Dambovita (35), Teleorman (20) and Galati (12), Ciocan said, adding that the bulk of voting violations were reported in Satu Mare – 46; Dolj – 21; and Bucharest – 18. Irregularities were also noted in Arad, Bistrita, Caras-Severin, Ialomita, Valcea, Botosani and Salaj. Also, a male resident of Biertan, Sibiu County, is being criminally investigated on the charge of uttering, having applied for a mobile ballot box in the name of a Copsa Mare woman unaware of the request.

Covasna County police officers opened criminal inquiries against a male from the Borosneu Mare commune, who was caught voting twice. He is being inquired while free under the charge of multiple voting.

The electoral process was stopped at special ballot sections in Afumati, Copaceni, Dobroiesti, Domnesti, Peris, Stefanestii de Jos, Tunari, Pantelimon and Ciolpani from lack of voting bulletins.

Local elected officials facing prosecution

A number of mayors and deputy mayors are suffering consequences following Sunday’s election. Stefanesti Deputy Mayor Ioan Mihalcea (PSD) is wanted by the Police, being required to give explanations for the distribution of parcels to voters Saturday evening and for the voting ballot specimens found at his address on Sunday. Judicial sources quoted by Medifax say the Prosecutor’s Office is on the case and that the official has been put under investigation. The Police in Dambovita have also been busy in respect of the Mayor of the locality of Aninoasa who has been prosecuted for electoral bribery, after the PDL organisation in Dambovita had reported that the local mayor escorted an approximate total of 100 voters whom he also paid.

The PSD mayor of Gruia, Mehedinti County, is also under investigation on charges of assault. He allegedly hit a county councillor who intervened while the mayor was trying to convince the locals to vote for Mircea Geoana. ‘When I realized what was going on, I drew closer and tried to record everything with my photo camera. At the point, the mayor started throwing stones at me and even hit me. Next to him there was a member of the polling station staff who was also telling the people there to vote for Geoana’, the county councillor explained.

OSCE: Irregularity reports need urgent inquiries

The process of the presidential runoff was generally compliant with the OSCE standards, but reported irregularities must be investigated without delay and the authorities must urgently publish results for every single polling station, the head of the observation mission, Russian expert Vadim Jdanovici, said yesterday. ‘Commitments towards OSCE and other international standards for democratic a democratic election, fundamental political freedoms, the competitive campaign environment and the efficient management of the election have been generally ensured. (…)The reports indicating alleged irregularities observed in the runoff should be investigated without delay’, the head of the OSCE mission said. Jdanovici also noted that during the campaign, several private TV stations were critics on Traian Basescu, while the public television was impartial.

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